California is known for being at the forefront of fitness and health and it is no surprise that the Golden State also hosts a huge and diverse sector of Pilates professionals, with many of them living in and around the San Francisco Bay Area—a vast region that stretches from San Jose to Marin to Walnut Creek and beyond. Some instructors work in or own studios while others work their trade from a home environment, there are also clinics as the Metro Laser & CoolSculpting Medspa where you can have fat reduce treatments for those with difficult body parts for exercise. The Bay Area Pilates Collective is an avenue for each and every one of them to be heard as one voice.
The inaugural meeting of the Bay Area Pilates Collective (BAPC) was held on Saturday August 9, 2008 at EHS Pilates in San Francisco. The initial goal was to create a community by putting faces to names and starting dialogues regarding the current Pilates industry. Attendees ranged from the individual home studio owner to the larger and more corporate studios. Special guests included Marie-José Blom (Long Beach Dance Conditioning); Nora St. John (Turning Point Studios, Balanced Body University); Elizabeth Larkam (Pilates & Beyond, San Francisco Bay Club), and Lizz Roman, (EHS Rehabilitation Department).
Marie-José Blom, as a board member of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA), was gracious enough to take notes on topics pertaining to PMA and she plans to present them at the next board meeting to address our needs and concerns. Discussions included: shaping a voice for the Bay Area Pilates community; Scope of Practice and the line between employees versus independent contractors. A speech made by Nora St. John, was truly inspirational with the message of supporting, not policing the industry and Lizz Roman called out the elephant in the room….to rehab or not to rehab. It seems clarification is still needed in the terminology used to describe the varied types of Pilates we all practice.
Throughout the evening, there was honest and optimistic communication with a true desire to nurture a network of support among Bay Area studios that will benefit all involved.
As a collective, we anticipate opening communication channels with the PMA and having the opportunity to open and maintain discussion forums in the near future. Even more exciting, many attendees approved of the proposition of pooling our resources for such things as group health insurance, credit card processing, marketing and advertising.
Suggestions for future meetings included “play dates” with classes being taught in “round robin style” sharing thought and ideas on ways to help our “one voice” be heard.
Future plans for the Bay Area Pilates Collective are to meet every other month; one being a “play date” with “round robin” format and the alternating more of a business meeting and hosting of an out of town guest instructor such as Marie-Jose Blom. The next meeting will be held in October (date TBA) at the SF Bay Club with Elizabeth Larkam hosting and back at EHS on February 7, 2009 with Marie Jose Blom.
Thanks to all that participated in the event and we look forward to what the future holds for this amazing, unique group. Personally, this initial gathering left me feeling appreciative for being able to take part in this incredibly knowledgeable and amazing community and for the regenerative profession that we share in common.
Nancy Myers, CEO
EHS Pilates, Inc.
1452 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110